In the 17th century, coffee beans began to be traded globally and coffee became widely popular as a morning drink. Coffee houses sprang up, first in Europe and later the American colonies. Patrons of these coffee houses would meet to drink coffee, exchange news, conduct business or just enjoy conversation.
As coffee grew in popularity, coffee beans were planted widely around the world. By the end of the 18th century, coffee had become one of the world’s most profitable crops, and today, it’s the most widely traded commodity after oil.
Coffee drinking around the world continues to increase as countries that traditionally had strong tea-drinking traditions, such as China, Japan and Taiwan, increase their coffee consumption. This explosion of coffee drinking has led to a great deal of research about the effects of caffeine on the human body, to the development of new brewing techniques, the creation of new coffee drinks and a shared love across cultures of the bitter, black brew.
Or as the National Coffee Association puts it, coffee is now “a culture, an economy, an art, a science and a passion.”
But how much does coffee cost around the world? UBS surveyed locals in different global cities to find “how much a cup of the beverage in a typical coffee shop costs.” Prices, of course, vary based on cost of living in the city and coffee’s cultural cachet in the area, among other things.
The prices in this 25-city list, which are ordered from lowest to highest, are averages. Cities will always have individual outlets where the price is higher or lower.